Liu Bolin. Hiding in Florence

Exhibition's curator Marco Bazzini
From 30/08/2023 To 18/09/2023 Sala d'Arme, Palazzo Vecchio, Florence



Florence, Sala d’Arme - Palazzo Vecchio

30 August - 18 September 2023

curated by Marco Bazzini

organized by Galleria Gaburro


press release

Sala d’Arme of Palazzo Vecchio will host, from the 30 August to 18 September 2023, the solo show Liu Bolin, dedicated to the artistic project Hiding in Florence (2022), realised in collaboration with the Municipality of Florence.


Liu Bolin (Shandong, 1973), internationally acclaimed artist, is known for his performances. Dubbed as “the invisible man”, he has made of camouflage his distinctive feature: standing still as a statue, Bolin perfectly merges, thanks to an accurate body painting, his body with the surrounding background and at last, he is photographed. Over the years, he has been portrayed in front of the most important monuments of the world, art pieces, bookshelves, supermarket shelves, mountains of waste and among migrants. His poetics of hiding, to become a thing among things, aims to highlight emblematic locations, the well-known cultural identities and the secret ones, social causes. 

Each of these places, as well as the objects, even the smallest, have a soul that characterizes them and allows him to camouflage, vanish, identify with everything. According to the Chinese culture, humanity is part of nature and in these artworks, the artist actually doesn’t disappear, he blends with nature itself.


Hiding in Florence is the project presented at Palazzo Vecchio, continuation and culmination of a more extensive series, Hiding in Italy, realised by the artist in our country, that has seen as protagonist the cities of Milan, Venice, Verona, Rome and Caserta. Liu Bolin pays homage to Florence, cradle of the Renaissance, one of the great destinations of the Grand Tour, even the contemporary one. In the Florence-based project the major historical and cultural institutions were involved, institutions that actively contribute to the promotion of a universal heritage: Piazza della Signoria, the Uffizi Gallery, Biblioteca Marucelliana and Palazzo Vecchio as well, that hosts the exhibit.


The solo exhibition, promoted by Galleria Gaburro and curated by Marco Bazzini, is an occasion to admire not only the latest artworks of the art chameleon in a unique location, but also to discover the backstage secrets, through the footage realised during the production of the shots. A way to involve the general public in a more immersive and performative experience typical of Liu Bolin’s art.



Liu Bolin

Liu Bolin was born in 1973 in the northeastern province of Shandong. During his training at the prestigious Central Academy of Fine Arts, he became a student of the renowned artist Sui Jianguo, who mentored him at the beginning of his career.

Liu Bolin became an adult during a great cultural turmoil which coincided with the beginning of a rapid economic growth and relative political stability for China; a time of dramatic changes witnessed by his photos from the series that made him famous Hiding in the City, in which he deals with universal themes such as the relationship between man and nature and between political power and thought. His research in this direction started in 2005 at Suojia Village of Beijing, dismantled by the authorities during November of the same year, and it has not stopped yet.  In 1998, Liu Bolin exhibited in Beijing for the first time his own solo show, since than his distinctive shots and sculptures have been shown at the major contemporary photography festivals such as Les Rencontres d'Arles and have been exhibited worldwide in prestigious international museums. Amongst his latest solo shows are to be mentioned: La forma profonda del reale, Bocconi University, Milan (2019); Liu Bolin. Visible/Invisible, Mudec Museum, Milan (2019); The Theatre of Appearances, Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne (2019); Liu Bolin. The Invisible Man, Palacio de Gaviria, Madrid (2019); Liu Bolin. The Invisible Man, Complesso del Vittoriano, Rome (2018); Liu Bolin: The Invisible Man, Erarta Museum, Saint Petersburg (2018); Ghost Stories, Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Paris (2017); Galerie Party, Centre Pompidou – Acte II with Liu Bolin, Centre Pompidou, Galerie des enfants, Paris (2017). In 2015 the Museo de Contemporáneo of Buenos Aires invited him for the solo exhibition Desapareciendo; the year after he was commissioned to create the project We Are What We Eat for the United Nations Headquarters in New York. In Europe the artist’s work has been divulged through the Italian exhibits A Secret Tour at H.C. Andersen Museum in Rome (2012) and Hiding in Italy, Fondazione Forma per la Fotografia, Milan (2010); and through the solo show The Invisible Man at Fotografiska Museet in Stockholm (2011). In addition, Liu Bolin took part to several artistic projects together with other important international contemporary artists such as Botero, JR, Carlos Cruz-Diez, Kenny Scharf, Rero. Liu Bolin has collaborated with several luxury brands in the fashion world, such as Valentino, Jean Paul Gaultier, Tod's and others. He was a testimonial for 2017/2018 of the Moncler brand, in a campaign signed by Annie Leibovitz. In 2018 he was artist of the year for Ruinart maison of champagne. The last production, realised among Florence's most iconic sights, has resulted in the project Hiding in Florence (2022).In 2023 the artist carried out two performances in Milan deeply related to current issues such as freedom, peace and women’s rights. After the art piece entitled No war, created also in collaboration with Galleria Gaburro, he realised the shot Freedom in 2023 together with ten Iranian activists. He now lives and works in Beijing.


Galleria Gaburro

Born in 1995 for the passion of its founder Giorgio Gaburro, Galleria Gaburro is co-directed from 2020 together with Cecilia Gaburro. The gallery has venues in Verona and Milan. The gallery has produced body of works, events, exhibitions and editorial projects with Italian and international artists, such as Daniel Spoerri, Hermann Nitsch, Emilio Isgrò, Marco Cingolani and Liu Bolin. Among the institutions with which the gallery collaborated, there are the MART Museum in Rovereto, the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna in Rome, the Venice Biennale, Palazzo Ducale in Mantua, Bocconi University of Milan, the MUDEC Museum in Milan, the Galleria Borghese of Rome, the Royal Palace of Caserta, the Galleria d'Arte Moderna Achille Forti in Verona, the Complesso del Vittoriano of Rome to quote just a few. Guideline of the gallery activity is the concept of Project Gallery: each project was born through the interchange between the artist, the curator and the gallery, and it is conceived ad hoc for the exhibition spaces -in the heart of Verona and of Milan- or for institutional shows in venues coherent with the message and the intervention of the artist.




Hiding in Florence

Palazzo Vecchio, Sala d’Arme, Florence

30 August – 18 September 2023


organised by Galleria Gaburro
curated by Marco Bazzini


Opening hours:

everyday from 10.00 to 18.00, except on Thursdays from 10.00 to 14.00

Free entrance



Info: Galleria Gaburro

Milan - via Cerva 25 - tel. +39 02 99262529
Verona - via dei Mutilati 7/a - tel. +39 045 8000176

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Press Review

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